Whiplash (CAD Syndrome)

What is Whiplash (CAD Syndrome)?

Whiplash, also called cervical acceleration/ deceleration (or CAD) syndrome, is a neck injury commonly caused by car accidents, falls, and contact sports. It results from a quick, jerking motion that forces the neck beyond its normal range of motion.

What causes Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly jolted back and forth. The cervical spine (neck) is hyperextended, or forced past its normal range of motion. Injury can result in the vertebrae, ligaments, joints and muscles in the neck.

What are the symptoms?

People may experience symptoms immediately after the injury or may not have symptoms until days later. Common symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Shoulder and back pain